How to Answer: “Why do you want to work for us?”

No matter what position you are interviewing for, the interview process is similar for many companies and organizations. One of the questions that is usually asked in a variety of ways is “Why do you want to work for us?” By asking this question, the interviewer is trying to assess one thing: Have you done your homework on the company? He or she wants to know if you know what the company is about, what product or service it has to offer, what its mission is, and why you want to work at the company based on all that information. If your answer is something like “Because I think the company is great”, you are most likely not going to get the job. So how do you come up with a good answer?

Do your research. There are a couple of different ways to get information on the company you are applying for. One of the most effective ones is to go on the company website. You will most likely find all the information you need there. However, some private companies tend to not put a lot of information on their site. In that situation, a good place to search would be outside reviews and company profiles.  Some good resources to find public companies are Business Week Online: Company Research and Hoovers Online. For private companies, you can search in the Forbes Largest Private Companies and The Inc 500 List. Another great tool is’s Guide to Researching Companies, Industries, and Countries.

By researching the company and finding something you are truly interested in, you can come up with a good answer for the interviewer as to why you want to work for them. Whether you love a product they sell, truly believe in their mission, and or care about the message they are trying to send, you will have a credible answer to deliver. That will show them that you care about their company and will be an important asset to help the company achieve its overall mission and goals.

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